Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for Success


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Whitepaper on mHealth or healthcare mobility solutions providing overview of role mobile applications in healthcare. The story discusses the changing landscape, challenges and motivators to healthcare organizations in adopting mobile solutions.

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Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for Success

  1. 1. Mobility in HealthcarePrescription for Success
  2. 2. Healthcare Mobility: Prescription for success.A study commissioned at the start of 2012 by Telenor Group and the Boston Consulting Group titled“Socio-Economic Impact of mHealth,” revealed two interesting points: 30% of smartphone users arelikely to use “wellness apps” by 2015 and secondly, as per the survey, smartphone is the most populartechnology among doctors since the stethoscope, underpinning the growing role of mobile technologyin patient care. The survey further revealed that- the costs in elderly care can be reduced by 25% withmobile healthcare; Maternal and prenatal mortality can be reduced by as much as 30% and twice as manyrural patients can be reached per doctor through mobile solutions.The above data and many similar reports showcase how mobile devices and applications are changingthe face of patient care and healthcare administration across the globe. In our cover story this month, weget an overview of healthcare mobility solutions, and discuss- • The reasons behind the growing acceptance of mHealth among various stakeholders- patients, physicians and providers. • How can mHealth address the challenges faced by healthcare organizations? • How are patients reacting to mobile healthcare solutions? • How the healthcare landscape is changing through mobility?And, many such pertinent questions...The shift…Healthcare industry has been one of the early adopters of enterprise mobility with mobile devices andapps significantly contributing towards improvement in every aspect of healthcare. Healthcare mobilitysolutions are playing an excellent role in solving some of the major challenges faced by the industrytoday including rising costs, fast-changing regulatory environment, increasing error-rates, decreasingprofitability, and demand for quality healthcare.Mobile health which started-off with simple services like call centers, getting doctor appointments, alertsetc., over the phone, has over the years, widened its scope covering a major part of healthcare processes.Cynicism, in the early years, on the utility and success of mobility in healthcare is now replaced withgrowing trust and expanding role for mobile devices and apps in healthcare administration. Today thereis a major shift in patient care and administration with mobility becoming an important medium for bothpatients and healthcare organizations. A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health ResearchInstitute, to study the attitude of US internet users towards mobile health solutions revealed that usersare slowly lapping up to the idea for patient care via mobile. The study found a strong preference amongrespondents for accessing medication and health care services through mobile devices. Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for success / 2
  3. 3. Main Barriers (in the old Changes (related to the new smartphoneCategory Impact mHealth market model) application market model)Device • Need for specialized • Key mHealth features are built in (GPS, High devices to run service, Sensors) • Very low penetration of • High Penetration expected capable devices • New Opportunities through tablet devicesDistribution • Lack of business • Possibility to market direct to Medium incentives for consumer/patient and professionals traditional channels • Global reach via application stores • Lack of reach: MNOs only provided local reachPatients/Doctors • In transparent markets • Increased awareness Medium to search for mHealth • Massive improvement of user solutions. experience from discovery to usage • Little awareness • Massive reduction of price level for • Missing technology smartphones and mHealth apps readiness in target groupsRegulation • Little refunding as only • Awareness changed due to the Low few solutions were application hype but still no major expected by national change in regulation policies visible regulation Prefer providers communicate by email for appointment reminders/simple communuication 23% Medication reminders via text would be helpful 27% Would pay for remote monitoring device with monthly service fee 40% Prefer to have more of their care via mobile phone 41% Like the idea of remote care 56% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for success / 3
  4. 4. It’s not only smartphone users who are keen to use healthcare apps but doctors too are eager to leveragemobile technology into their day-to-day tasks. A survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health ResearchInstitute (PwC HRI) came up with interesting statistics on how clinicians perceive healthcare mobilitysolutions to be beneficial for them.As per the study, • 56% of physicians believed m-health could help expedite decision-making. • 39% said it would reduce the time it takes for administrative tasks. • 36% said it would increase collaboration among physicians. • 26% said it would increase time spent with patients. • 40% said they could eliminate 11% to 30% of office visits through the use of mobile health technologies such as remote monitoring, email or text messaging with patients.The motivators...The growing acceptance and usage of healthcare mobility solutions can be attributed to two broadfactors- industry challenges and rapid advancements in mobile technology. Healthcare systems, acrossthe globe, are facing myriad constraints like an increasing population without access to quality healthcare,shrinking pool of qualified healthcare professionals, emergence of new diseases and limited financialresources. On the other hand, mobile devices like smartphones and Tablets have become ubiquitous.Bandwidth is getting increasingly faster. Mobile applications have become more feature-rich and much-secured to integrate with processes and operations of healthcare organizations. The combination of thesetwo factors and, growing preference among the masses, buoyed by the comfort, convenience and cost-effectiveness are catalyzing the growth of mobile healthcare solutions. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), there are now over 5 billion wireless subscribers; over 70% of them reside in low- and middle income countries. The GSM Association reports commercial wireless signals cover over 85% of the world’s population. Source-WHO Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for success / 4
  5. 5. Major concerns of Heathcare How mHealth can address the organisations challenges? • Revenue generation and cost • Reduces expenses for healthcare containment. organizations and makes healthcare • To reach to the remotest locations and affordable for locations. accelerate response time. • Facilitate staff member interactions and • Wait times for available hospital beds. coordinate activities. • Chronic labor shortages. • Support work processes and policies in • To improve patient safety. effect within the institution. • Best practices and decision support • Place vital tools and current information processes in the hands of consumers and those who evaluate, administer and provide healthcare services.Scope and opportunities...Today, mobility for healthcare has not only become an important medium in delivering healthcareservices but also is an enabler that can act as force multiplier, in both near and long-term future, to theoverall operations in an organization. Many electronic healthcare practices prevalent in the industry canbe further extended, in scale and operations, by complementing it with mobile technology. mhealthis creating new possibilities for physicians and patients to monitor important health information andmanage their care. Healthcare mobility solutions are making processes leaner and quicker not only withtheir own might but by also complementing other technologies. Using key mobile applications leads to improved use of healthcare workers time; approximately 39 minutes per day were recovered, a benefit which improves upon itself by leading to additional benefits in better patient care, reduced medical errors and a improved in employee efficiency. Source-Motorola Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for success / 5
  6. 6. Oppurtunities in Healthcare Physician appointment alert patient history metabolic standards up-to-date medical reference Patient Nurses / Intensive care medication alerts medication alerts patient history patient history physician instructions job schedule real time medical assistance raise drug requisition metabolic standards Administrator Pathologist asset tracking physician instructions demand & capacity ready reckoner mgmtjob scheduling real time coaching tracking business analytics Pharmacist stock check stock level alerts fulfill drug requisitionsServices DescriptionHealth call Created to deliver health care advice services by trained health professionals incentres/ help case of an emergency.linesTreatment Sending reminder messages to patients with the aim of achieving treatment compliance.complianceAppointment For patients to schedule or remind to attend an appointment.scheduling andremindersCommunity For health promotion or to alert target groups of future health campaigns. Raising publicmobilization & awareness through health information products, games, or quiz promotionMobile Consultation between healthcaretelemedicine professionals and patients using the voice, text, data, imaging, or video functions of a mobile device. Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for success / 6
  7. 7. Services DescriptionHealth surveys Use of mobile devices for health-relatedand surveillance data collection and reporting.Patient Using mobile technology to manage, monitor, and treat a patient’s illness from a distancemonitoring with the help of remote sensors and imaging devices linked to mobile phones.Decision support Software to advise healthcare professionals on clinical diagnoses of patients based onsystems health history and medical information, such as prescribed drugs. Mobile devices are used to input data and obtain targeted health information.Patient records Collecting and displaying patient records at point-of-care through mobile technologies.Administration Asset tracking, demand & capacity management, job scheduling & tracking, business analyticsMobile Devices to check sugar levels, blood pressure and other vital parameters.integrateddevicesChallenges...The path of adopting mobility for a healthcare organization is, however not so smooth. There are severalchallenges facing the organizations as they move on to leverage mobile technology. There is a massiveexplosion of devices differing in form, features and functionalities in the market. The challenge for theorganizations is to come-up with healthcare solutions that fits all. Similarly, there are multiple mobileplatforms like iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry etc., and solutions must be compatible to all theplatforms. While the world may be moving into next generation of internet connectivity, but bandwidthlatency and coverage is still an area of concern if mHealth has to truly stand to its promise of deliveringservices to the remotest of locations. Security of patient data is another complicated challenge whichcalls for continuous monitor and intervention as the technology evolves. It’s also important to keep aneye on the reliability and scalability of the mobile infrastructure as the usage grows and more people getscovered by it. Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for success / 7
  8. 8. The adoption...As healthcare organizations, across the globe, reel under the pressure of shrinking financial resources,and need to expand their reach and deliver quality services, we are witnessing rapid adoption of mHealthinitiatives, at varying scales and levels, globally. The enthusiastic adoption of mobile health solutions clearlyshowcase the merits and benefits of employing mobility in the delivery of health & wellness services andthe growing acceptance of mHealth practices among various stakeholders in the industry. Adoption of mHealth initiatives and phases, globally 60 Established Pilot 50 InformalPercent of Countries None given 40 30 20 10 0 Hea Toll- App nders Co m Trea liance Patie I n fo Pa t i t o r i n g Hea Sur v Aw a g Dec or t syst Eme Mob edicine M ob Co m Mon raisi sup telem rem lth C ent rma ision oint free lth S tme re n e rgen mun on p eilla ile n i n iliza p i t Re men tion all ce nt e u r ve c nce ss it y mer ti ies c o rd t ntre genc ys ems s s mHealth Initiatives y source:WHO Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for success / 8
  9. 9. Looking ahead... Why enterprises are adopting mobility? »» Emergency response systems »» Mobile synchronous (voice) and asynchronous (SMS) telemedicine diagnostic and decision support to remote clinicians. »» Clinician-focused, evidence-based formulary, database and decision support information available at the point-of-care. »» Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Integrity & Patient Safety Systems. »» Clinical care and remote patient monitoring. »» Health services monitoring and reporting. »» Health-related mLearning for the general public. »» Training and continuing professional development for health care workers. »» Health promotion and community mobilization. »» Support of long-term conditions like example in diabetes self-management. Source-WikipediaA survey conducted in 2010 by research2guidance predicts that smartphones, mobile phones and Tabletswill present the best Mobile Health Business Opportunities in 2015 thereby, revealing that mobility is thefuture of healthcare. PDAs 27% Mobile Phones 37% Medical Specific Devices 58% Tablets 69% 41% Smartphones 82% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for success / 9
  10. 10. Mobile devices and applications have the potential to play a very significant role in every stage and aspectof the healthcare. Mobility solutions can not only bridge the gap between the doctor and patient butalso have the potential to radically transform the way diseases are diagnosed, monitored and treated.Moreover, anytime and anywhere accessibility and availability of health & wellness information andprofessional advice can be a key factor in the prevention of diseases and promoting wellness.With further advancement in the mobile technology, the scope and role of healthcare mobility solutionswill only grow. It can’t be denied anymore- mobile and wireless technology is set to transform the face ofhealthcare administration across the globe.Our recommendations… • Embrace healthcare mobility. mHealth offers tremendous opportunities and value to an organization. It is the answer to myriad challenges faced by the industry. • Focus on user experience. Create a user-friendly, reliable and secure mobile environment. • Pay special attention to data security. Employ adequate authentication and authorization processes. • Pick the right platform. Diversity in screen sizes, functionalities and operating system necessitates organizations to adopt a multi-platform approach. • Monitor user behaviour. Customer intelligence will be the key to success of your mHealth initiative. • Lay down the groundwork for next generation of mHealth. Emerging technologies in mobility promises more opportunities. Be ready to seize them.The beginning…In spite of the upsurge in adoption of mobility in the healthcare industry, there is still a lot to happen. Thepervasiveness of mobile computing is leading to the evolution of new business models, reinvention ofdelivery methods and innovation in patient care. Healthcare mobility solutions are bringing tremendousvalue to organizations but still there is a huge area of opportunities to be seized which will further add to thevalue proposition. Organizations, which adapt to mobility early, will not only gain competitive advantagetoday but will also, be in a better position to leverage further advancements in mobile technology. And,make greater success of their mobile initiatives. Mobility in Healthcare: Prescription for success / 10
  11. 11. About [x]cube LABS[x]cube LABS is one of the leading mobile appsdevelopment and consulting firm, headquarteredin Dallas, U.S and with offices in New York and Reach [x]cube LABSHyderabad, India. With expertise across all the connect@xcubeLABS.commajor mobile platforms, [x]cube has deliveredover 500 apps till date and has an enviable clientlist comprising of some of the biggest brands like 1-800-805-5783GE, Intel, Texas Instruments, Hasbro, Mattel and24 Hour Fitness. [x]cube’s understanding of the www.xcubeLABS.commobile space and technology, complimented byits rich experience across all the major industryverticals and the capability to deliver end-to-end solutions, make [x]cube the perfect mobileconsultant of choice.To integrate your enterprise people, processes and products with customized, avant-garde mobilitysolutions or to explore mobility opportunities in your enterprise with our experts, please feel free tocontact us at encourage you to continue exploring our website ( ) to find out more aboutour services. [x]cube is the premier mobile solution partner for companies and individuals creating the next generation of digital applications. [x]cube develops custom solutions for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Mobile platforms. [x]cube is a division of PurpleTalk, Inc. | 1-800-805-5783 |